Can Nick Swisher bring back the Idiots to Boston?
For the past three seasons the Red Sox have seemed to equate a lack of personality and a quiet demeanor to being a professional baseball player.
It is no coincidence that the Red Sox have had some of the least likable teams teams in their recent memory over the past few seasons, teams that failed to connect with the fans and Red Sox nation.
Is the 32-year-old Swisher a great player? No. But he is a good major league player who has performed at a very high level in the most demanding market in the major leagues.
His career slash line with the New York Yankees of .268/.367/.483 show a player who has embraced playing under the limelight of New York, something the Sox desperately need to instill in their players.
He also plays nearly every day, playing an average of 149.5 games per season while with the Yankees while consistently hitting 20-plus home runs and knocking in over 80 runs per year. These numbers would look really good batting fifth or sixth in the Sox' lineup, grinding out at-bat after at-bat.
Far too often over the past couple of seasons the body language of players like Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and John Lackey have shown players who struggle with the constant pressure and expectations of playing in front of a packed house every night and a fan base that demands effort and accountability.
Players like Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar have all thrived in Boston with the ability to remain loose and keep the other players on the roster from playing too tight in key situations.
Adding switch-hitting Swisher to the outfield and first base mix would immediately strengthen a team that was at or near the bottom of outfield production in 2012, outside of Cody Ross.
Swisher would also help restore the Idiot culture in the Boston clubhouse. Baseball is meant to be fun. Getting paid millions of dollars to play baseball should be a lot of fun. Bringing in players like Swisher and Jonny Gomes would be a step in the right direction.
Swisher is one of those players you love if he is on your team and you hate if he's a rival. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and always seems to do something to impact the game and keep his team loose.
This article from the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo states that the Sox have been negotiating with Swisher's agents. Depending on what happens with the Red Sox pursuit of Mike Napoli, Swisher might be in play for a three or four year commitment from the Sox.
Signing Swisher would also add much needed juice to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry that has been deadly dull the past couple of seasons.
The Red Sox may not be able to make the big move they want to excite the fan base this winter, but putting a team on the field in 2013 that the fans can embrace would be a step in the right direction.
A direction that the Red Sox need to take.
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